Intellectual Property and Confidential Information
For the avoidance of doubt the following will apply to the member(s) of staff undertaking a consultancy project:
- The member(s) of staff will not in any way make use of confidential information and/or intellectual property in the course of carrying out the consultancy project that was disclosed and/or made available to him/her by any third party during the course of normal university work;
- The member(s) of staff will not in any way make use of confidential information and/or intellectual property belonging to the client, in University activities during or after completion of the consultancy project unless prior written permission has been given by the client; and
- The member(s) of staff will not be permitted to use any intellectual property belonging to the University.
Conflicts of Interest
When carrying out a private consultancy via LUCS, in many situations a conflict of interest may arise. In accordance with the University policy on outside professional activities (Ref PS/98/791) the following are general guidelines provided by way of example only:
The University holds that it is incompatible with full-time service that a member of staff should exercise managerial responsibility in respect of an outside organisation where this responsibility makes significant demands upon that person's time.
Members of staff who have connections with a private company outside the University must not allow their position in the University to be used in bringing financial benefit to this concern. ("Connections" in the preceding sentence includes not only management of, ownership of, employment by, but other connections such as membership of a board of directors.) Such connections will not necessarily preclude an organisation from undertaking work on behalf of the University, but any member of staff having such a connection must declare an interest. Staff may be involved with, but must not be solely responsible for, the engagement in a contract with such an organisation; this must involve the consent of the Head of Department (or Faculty Dean, where appropriate).
Members of staff shall not associate the University and/or LUCS with their opinions or findings when disseminated to outside bodies or to the general public by means of reports, public announcements and so on, except by express permission from the University Secretary.
In the conduct of private consultancy, members of staff should avoid, and should not sanction the association of the University's name or image with commercial interest or advertising. Where any uncertainty exists, advice should be sought from the University Secretary.
The facilities and resources of the University (e.g. property, equipment, chemicals and the use of other staff's time) are to be used primarily for teaching and research and they may be used for for consultancy via LUCS (see Disclosure and Procedure for Consultancy via LUCS). However, use of the facilities and resources of the University is not permitted in respect of wholly private consultancy.
University Policy on Conflicts of Interest
The preceding section has addressed the question of conflicts of interest between a member of staff and the University arising out of private consultancy via LUCS. Further potential conflicts arise from the opportunities a member of staff may have, because of his or her position in the University, to influence its relationship with a client in ways which could lead to the member of staff’s personal financial gain. For example, members of staff should be careful not to accept gifts or rewards, pecuniary or other, which may compromise their position in handling University business or representing the interests of the University.
In accordance with the University policy on outside professional activities (Ref PS/791), the following policy has also been adopted by LUCS:
"It is the policy of the University that its officers, academic staff, assistant staff and others acting on its behalf have an obligation to avoid ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest and to ensure that their activities and interests do not conflict with their obligations to the University in the attainment of its primary objectives".
Accordingly, members of Council, Directors of University Companies, Senior University Officers and other members of staff in a position to make or influence decisions favoring any client are required annually to declare any interest, direct or indirect, potentially in conflict with the University's interest. Staff of the University should also provide any such information for their Heads of Department, if necessary as an addition to their disclosure to undertake private consultancy.
Use of University's Name and Letterhead
In accordance with the University policy on outside professional activities (Ref PS/98/791) the use of the name "Lancaster University" or "University of Lancaster" in advertising and commercial publicity for clients is not permitted.
Use of LUCS' Name
The use of the name "LUCS" or "Lancaster University Consultancy Services" in advertising and commercial publicity for clients is not permitted.
LUCS will subcontract consultancy work with University members of staff only. Therefore, it will not subcontract consultancy work with the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate students. However, members of staff that have a consultancy project channeled through LUCS may do so, but at their own risk.
LUCS will subcontract up to three members of staff for each consultancy project.